Synaxis of the Hierarchs of Novgorod, Buried in the Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) in Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost. On October 4, 1439 St John (September 7) appeared to the presiding hierarch St Euthymius (March 11) and ordered him to serve a special panikhida in memory of those buried at the Sophia cathedral (the Russian princes and Archbishops of Novgorod, and all Orthodox Christians) on the Feast of the Hieromartyr Hierotheus, first Bishop of Athens.

Then the incorrupt relics of St John (September 7) were uncovered. Afterwards, the Synaxis was established to mark the glorification of the Novgorod hierarchs. E. E. Golubinsky says that because these hierarchs remained unknown at the time of their glorification, he determined this date for their common celebration was established in the period between the time of the Moscow Council of 1549 and the time of the formation of the Holy Synod (E. E. Golubinsky, History of the Canonization of Saints in the Russian Church. Moscow, 1903, p. 157).

Included in the Synaxis of Novgorod hierarchs are: St Joachim of Korsun, first bishop of Novgorod (988-1030); St Luke the Jew, bishop (October 15, 1060); St Germanus, bishop (1078-1096); St Arcadius, bishop (September 18); St Gregory, archbishop (May 24, 1193); St Martyrius, archbishop (August 24, 1199); St Anthony, archbishop (October 8, 1231); St Basil the Lame, archbishop (July 3, 1352); St Simeon, archbishop (June 15, 1421); St Gennadius, archbishop (December 4); St Pimen, archbishop (1553-1571); Aphthonius, metropolitan (April 6, 1653).

The relics of these saints were buried or transferred to Novgorod’s Sophia Cathedral (except for St Germanus, St Gennadius and St Pimen) therefore, in some sources their names are not included in the Synaxis.

The October 4 celebration was established in connection with the memory of the holy Prince Vladimir Yaroslavich of Novgorod (+ 1052), and the February 10 Synaxis of the Novgorod hierarchs is celebrated in connection with the holy Princess Anna of Novgorod (+ 1056).

Besides those mentioned, hierarchs who have separate commemorations are: St Nikita the Hermit, bishop (January 31); St Niphon, bishop (April 8); St John, archbishop (September 7); St Theoctistus, archbishop (December 23); St Moses, archbishop (January 25); St Euthymius, archbishop (March 11); St Jonah, archbishop (November 5); St Serapion, archbishop (March 16).